Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jared Hits Home Runs

I linked to a piece by blog-favorite, Jared Wilson, in the post on Congressman Weiner.

I'm not even sure what to do with this. . . except to say that it's absolutely true, and it's one of the biggest struggles I've had as I've grown older. I also am in the process of doing pre-marital counseling for 3 couples and have no idea how to even bring this up. (or "warn" them??. . what would that even mean?). All I know is, this is coming for everyone who is married, and it's important that we deal with it in the way Jared talks about it. It will actually lead to greater joy, intimacy, and understanding in our marriages. Jared's a smart guy.

(Disclaimers: This is a risky post. . . and could be easily misunderstood. . . if this post makes you mad, let's talk. Jared links to a blog debate that is talking about female body image in marriage. . and I'm not trying to make a comment on that here in this post. What hit me was the concept of "change" in a more general way. . .Also, if you read his piece, one example of marital conflict he gives is when a wife changes in the amount of kids she wants. . .you should know this has nothing to do with Jody and I, and I'm fully on board with the size of our family)

Congressmen and Broken Cisterns

I know, how loathsome of me to post on Congressman Weiner. . .have we not heard/seen enough of this?

As I was perusing the blogs this morning, there was a really interesting piece from Maureen Dowd in the NYT. She was lamenting the state of current manhood (especially as it relates to successful, powerful men) and others were talking about how we can build "better" men in the church.

I would recommend all of this for your reading enjoyment, because it's all very thoughtful and well-done.

I, somewhat, agree with the diagnosis. But, I think there's a radically different "cure" for the problem of "boys being boys". Let's throw adultery out for a minute. . . how do we, as guys, relate properly to the women around us?

As men, we're vulnerable, insecure creatures. We like to act like we're not (especially when we appear on Fox News), but we all know it's not true. There's a hole in each guy that needs approval, acceptance and recognition of ability (or power).

The biggest mistake a guy can make is to try and fill that hole with a woman. God gave us our wives to perhaps, help with some of this. . . .but never to actually fulfill it. The wonderful, God-sent women in our lives cannot and will not answer those questions for us (news flash guys: you're not answering your wife's questions for her either).

Listen to one of Congressman Weiner's mistresses:

"Meagan Broussard, a 26-year-old college student and single mom from Texas, wrote, conservative Andrew Breitbart’s site, that her relationship with Weiner began when she wrote on his Facebook page that one of his speeches to construction workers was “hot.”

“Within an hour,” she wrote, “we were sending messages back and forth.”

Broussard lost her sense of awe pretty quickly: “Talking to him was sometimes a turn-off because he was so open and just so full of himself, as if he were looking, searching for something.”

(NYT: Dowd)

Searching for something indeed. Congressman Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, was a beautiful, successful woman (she was one of Hillary Clinton's aides), and he had risen to a level of power that most of us will never see in this life. So, what was he searching for? Why was he texting college girls?

The bottom line is that it won't be enough. Jesus is the only one who can fill our souls with the kind of radical humbling, and then radical acceptance that we need. As Tim Keller says, "we're more wicked than we ever feared, but more loved than we ever dreamed". The Gospel "speaks a better word" to us as men than any woman, or position, or success ever will.

(In fact (this is another post) we can't love our wives well, understand them at all, or accept their changing ways if we try to use them to fill some huge insecrity gap that we're struggling with. It simply won't work for us (or her). )

I know, these are the Sunday School answers. . .but they're answers that Congressman Weiner, and I, need to hear every day. Thanks be to God who has "brought us near" by the blood of His Son, Jesus.

Jeremiah 2:13
for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me,the fountain of living waters,and hewed out
cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest.

Ephesians 2:13-14

English Standard Version (ESV)

13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

Hebrews 12:24

English Standard Version (ESV)

24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

1 John 3:1
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we
should be called children of God; and so we are.

Colossians 1:17
And he is before
all things, and in him all things hold together

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Drunk Ladies and Judgement

This is a good word for us when we're having trouble with God's timing, or not liking the way He's running things. . . . and oh yeah, don't be these ladies at sporting events.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Proof positive that you shouldn't take notes in church:

I was sitting by my daughter, Eden, last week in church, and she pulled this out of the hymnal in front of us:

Yes, that's right. . . on June 5th, 2011, a sermon outline (fully filled out and notated) from September 21st 2008 was found, stuffed in a hymnal, in our worship center. Wow, I'm sure glad all those notes were taken, I bet that sermon really changed his life (come on, that has to be a man's handwriting). He obviously hasn't needed those great insights on his outline for these last 3 years.

Now, I know that some of you listen by taking notes. . . and I think that's great. I just think there's a way to take notes to try and get everything down and make additions "so you'll remember later" (boo). . . . and there's a way to jot things down to process your current thoughts. (yeahee)

See, sermons (and singing together as the church) are things that happen in a moment. It's a real thing, it's really happening. We all need to be in those moments together and present there as the Church. Tim Keller says we should preach to "change someone on the spot". I think that's true. We should be changed, even in little ways, every time we hear God's Word. Perhaps the change is as simple as quieting your heart from a busy week and remembering that God has saved you. That's an important "change" that we should be present for, as we worship together.

So, take notes if you must, to help you listen. . but don't fill in all your blanks, write down all the points, and forget to listen to the Holy Spirit while you're in church. Basically, don't do what this guy did (and then leave your outline from 3 years ago in the hymnal).

Thursday, June 2, 2011


God’s sense of timing will confound ours, no matter what culture we’re from. His grace rarely operates according to our schedule. When Jesus looks at Jairus and says, “Trust me, be patient,” in effect he is looking over Jairus’s head at all of us and saying, “Remember how when I calmed the storm I showed you that my grace and love are compatible with going through storms, though you may not think so? Well, now I’m telling you that my grace and love are compatible with what seem to you unconscionable delays.” It’s not “I will not be hurried even though I love you”; it’s “I will not be hurried because I love you. I know what I’m doing. And if you try to impose your understanding of schedule and timing on me, you will struggle to feel loved by me.
- Tim Keller, King's Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus, p. 63


I really will get back into this blogging thing one day. . . .really I will. It's been kind of a crazy time for the Brittons. Those of you who follow my wife's blog know most of what's going on. In addition to getting wrecked every time I see pictures of my new daughter, I've been going through some pretty painful shoulder re-hab that doesn't involve very much sleep. This makes it tough for me to write (songs or prose). I'm kind of in a daze most of the day. Also, I've been doing alot of counseling with folks lately and journeying towards marriage with 3 couples (their marriage, not mine. . . I digress).

All that to say. . . I apologize. It will come around again, and I'll have pithy things to say that will cause great enjoyment to come to all 6 of you.

For today, a little video tribute to my favorite NBA player, Shaq. There was no one like Shaq, and there will never be anyone like Shaq. He is one of the top 10 players of all time. . . but no one thinks so because he doesn't have the numbers, and he definitely did not keep himself in shape the last 4 years of his career when things were winding down.

The last time I checked, the NBA was not a fitness contest, nor a math contest. Ask any coach in the last 19 years who was the hardest person to game plan for. . . . . you will get one answer, Shaq. Look up his numbers from the playoffs here from the Lakers 3 peat from 2000-2003. Unreal. Ask any player who was the MVP in the NBA from 1998 (Jordan's retirement) until 2008. The answer: Shaq. When you played the Lakers or Heat (and at some level, the Suns), you had to place your whole gameplan around Shaq. His body couldn't stand up anymore under the abuse he took. (Shaq took some of the hardest, most consistent fouls of any player, ever. . and only responded once, . . here "Look out Brad Miller"!!!) Injuries finally got to him. But, Shaq is underrated. I challenge anyone to find a 7'2 inch man that weighs 330 pounds and see if that man can even run down the court twice. Shaq did it for 19 years, and was a freakish athlete.

Ok, I'm done. Enjoy these hilarious videos. More than anything, Shaq was a large child who enjoyed himself while playing.

Epic Quotes:

This is hilarious. He doesn't care about the censors, and Shaq always let Craig Sager have it for his suit.

Wouldn't be complete with a vintage Shawn Bradley facial:

Michael and Scotty? :

What? Only young Shaq could lead the fast break? I give you '09 Shaq. . blocking the shot and running the show. Again, show me anyone else who's 7'2 who can run this far:

Thanks for the good times Shaq. Enjoy fighting crime and being "the greatest in the universe"